Re: Re: A cautionary note on open-source development

From: laird popkin <lairdp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Fri Mar 18 2005 - 11:03:48 CST

Oops, forgot to tie this back into OVC. OVC will ultimately be
successful as a software project if the participants have a strong
vested interest in its success, to the point where they're willing to
invest funding and/or real development resources in it. It's easier
for some organizations to allocate developers than to pay cash to
support a project, so I hope some day to see that universities
allocate grad students to OVC development because it's an exciting,
high value project with great PR value to the university, professors
and students, hardware companies allocate engineers or fund
development because they make money selling systems and services based
on OVC, and so on. Of course, we should welcome _anyone_ who supports
OVC in any manner and for any reason. But if we're to "win" we'll need
to have a core of developers who can work on OVC as their "real jobs"
-- while volunteers wrote a great proof of concept system,
certification against hard deadlines is too hard to pull off on a pure
volunteer basis; it'll take a mixture of paid and volunteer work to be
able to reliably hit the deadlines, make the governments comfortable,
and do all of the "boring" work related to certification.

- LP

On Fri, 18 Mar 2005 11:57:35 -0500, laird popkin <lairdp@gmail.com> wrote:
> This has been going on for many, many years. I'd guess (though I can't
> prove it) that most of the major open source projects have _always_
> had a core of developers who are paid to work on the project (by their
> employers to promote the project, not by the project directly).
> Certainly IBM, Sun, Apple, HP, Compaq, Red Hat, SGI, Cygnus, Netscape,
> etc., have paid hundreds of developers to work on open source
> software. They don't do this because they're nice people (though they
> may be), but because they, as companies benefit from the success of
> the project. For example, IBM has worked to make Linux work well on
> high-end hardware so that they could sell high-end hardware to Linux
> users, Apple has tuned gcc to produce better PPC code because it makes
> everything that uses gcc run better on MacOS X, ISP's pay developers
> to tune Apache, nntpd, ftpd, sendmail, etc., because it allows them to
> provide better service more cheaply than commercial servers, and many
> chip companies paid Cygnus to add support for their new chips to gcc
> (to ease adoption of their chip), so on. So while there are certainly
> many volunteer developers who work on various projects in their spare
> time for various reasons, I don't think that alone is what made gcc,
> emacs, apache, mysql, postgresql, rpm's, mozilla, etc., successful.
>
> - LP
>
> On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 12:20:08 -0800, Arthur Keller <voting@kellers.org> wrote:
> > http://www.acm.org/technews/articles/2005-7/0316w.html#item10
> >
> > "Open-Source Movement Now In Hands of Hired Guns"
> > Investor's Business Daily (03/15/05) P. A4; Brown, Ken Spencer
> >
> > Corporate programmers have for the most part supplanted volunteer
> > programmers as developers of core open-source software. IBM committed
> > $1 billion to the development and promotion of the open-source Linux
> > operating system four years ago, and has since made over 500 software
> > patents and 30 software applications freely accessible to open-source
> > programmers. "As Linux goes mainstream, the market gets bigger and
> > the dollars available around the world grow, it becomes a great
> > business opportunity," notes Open Source Development Labs CEO Stuart
> > Cohen. Many companies are devoting their developers' time to the
> > improvement of Linux in the hopes of ensuring that the OS is
> > compatible with their hardware and software, while Cohen says some
> > firms are gambling that increasing demand for Linux will in turn
> > raise sales of related products. Corporate involvement benefits Linux
> > by enhancing the OS with industrial-grade features that volunteer
> > programmers would take years to develop. Linux creator Linus Torvalds
> > is not concerned about any company dominating the development of
> > Linux so that it gains a competitive advantage over rival Linux
> > firms, because open-source development follows a democratic model to
> > guarantee that only the best ideas prevail. In addition, improvements
> > to the software are available to anyone through Linux's open
> > licensing scheme. Andrew Morton, a chief deputy of Torvalds',
> > maintains that most programmers, even commercial ones, develop a
> > sense of loyalty to Linux that is stronger than corporate fealty.
> >
> > At 11:27 AM -0500 3/14/05, laird popkin wrote:
> > >My instinct would be that it'll be easy for OVC to attract reviewers
> > >-- any academic with any connection to voting issues would jump right
> > >in, IMO. But getting people to build a certifiable system is (IMO)
> > >more than can be done on a pure volunteer basis. But if we can pay a
> > >core of developers to keep things rolling ahead, I would expect to see
> > >lots of people building useful stuff around that core (e.g.
> > >translations, adding features, etc.) similar to the way that the
> > >Mozilla project as a core of paid developers with tons of volunteers
> > >(and companies) making skins, plug-ins, etc.
> > >
> > >
> > >On Sun, 13 Mar 2005 00:16:18 -0800, Arthur Keller <voting@kellers.org> wrote:
> > >> Volunteer scrutiny is a lot easier to achieve than volunteer
> > >> development. In fact, simply being open for scrutiny is itself
> > >> somewhat of a check on the development process, independent of
> > >> exactly how much scrutiny actually materializes.
> > >>
> > >> There is also the potential that such scrutiny will be provided by
> > >> closed-source vendors who want to discredit the open source system,
> > >> although they are more likely to disclose potential problems right
> > >> before an election rather than early enough to fix before one. The
> > >> potential for such a bombshell imposes quite a burden on the software
> > >> development and testing process.
> > >>
> > >> Best regards,
> > >> Arthur
> > >>
> > >> At 9:17 PM -0800 3/12/05, Ron Crane wrote:
> > >> >Yes, strictly speaking. But proper public review of OVC's software
> > >> >(and any hardware upon which it runs) will require volunteer
> > >> >participation, so it's not entirely off the mark.
> > >> >
> > >> >-Ron
> > >> >
> > >> >On Mar 12, 2005, at 4:15 PM, Arthur Keller wrote:
> > >> >
> > >> >>Isn't that really a cautionary tale on *volunteer* development, not
> > >> >>*open source* development?
> > >> >>
> > >> >>Best regards,
> > >> >>Arthur
> > >> >>
> > >> >>At 4:08 PM -0800 3/12/05, Ron Crane wrote:
> > >> >>>This was blogged by one of the core reviewers of Firefox:
> > >> >>>
> > >> >>>"This is bugging me, and its been bugging me for a while. In
> > >> >>>nearly three years, we haven't built up a community of hackers
> > >> >>>around Firefox, for a myriad of reasons, and now I think we're in
> > >> >>>trouble. Of the six people who can actually review in Firefox,
> > > > >>>four are AWOL, and one doesn't do a lot of reviews....
> > >> >>>
> > >> >>>continued at http://www.steelgryphon.com/blog/index.php?p=37 .
> > >> >>>
> > >> >>>The Mozilla Foundation and associated groups are open source
> > >> >>>pioneers. It's worth seeing what they have to teach.
> > >> >>>
> > >> >>>-Ron
> > >>
> > >> --
> > >>
> > >>-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >> Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> > >> tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
> > >> _______________________________________________
> > >> OVC discuss mailing lists
> > >> Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to
> > >> arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
> > >>
> > >
> > >--
> > >- Laird Popkin, cell: 917/453-0700
> > >_______________________________________________
> > >OVC discuss mailing lists
> > >Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
> >
> > --
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > Arthur M. Keller, Ph.D., 3881 Corina Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303-4507
> > tel +1(650)424-0202, fax +1(650)424-0424
> > _______________________________________________
> > OVC discuss mailing lists
> > Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
> >
>
> --
> - Laird Popkin, cell: 917/453-0700
>

-- 
- Laird Popkin, cell: 917/453-0700
_______________________________________________
OVC discuss mailing lists
Send requests to subscribe or unsubscribe to arthur@openvotingconsortium.org
==================================================================
= The content of this message, with the exception of any external 
= quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain    
==================================================================
Received on Thu Mar 31 23:17:07 2005

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Mar 31 2005 - 23:17:09 CST